Before modern air conditioning, it was not uncommon for places of work and schools to halt their operations in the summer. This was so that people could avoid the overwhelming heat. Today, about 74% of homes in the Western part of the United States, and about 85% in the Southern states, have central air conditioning, according to the EIA.
However, with all great technology comes the balancing side of that equation, and for air conditioning services that means air conditioning repairs. If the thought of finding enough funds to cover air conditioning repair costs makes you cringe, then there are several things you can do to lessen the blow.
Do not neglect to get regular maintenance.
Did you know that most air conditioning repair costs are incurred because the system has not had proper maintenance? You should be getting your HVAC system inspected twice each year, and for your air conditioning that means a maintenance visit in the spring. Regular maintenance includes checking and possibly replacing the filters, ducts, wiring and refrigerant levels; checking thermostat accuracy; lubricating parts; and clearing drains, air conditioning coils and blower. For most people it is far simpler to have a professional perform this necessary system check and maintenance.
If and when you do need repair, find someone reliable.
When looking for a good residential air conditioning repair service, you can check to see if they are registered with the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, or the Better Business Bureau. Good reviews and recommendations online are not the only way to find a good repairman, but they can help. Remember that costs will vary from region to region, but average costs are between $400 and $600 for a New York homeowner. Some repairmen use a flat rate, and others determine fees based on hourly work. A reliable repair service will disclose their fee structure, and perform quality work in the spectrum of average costs for your area.
Get a new unit.
If your AC unit is 10 years old, then it is officially too old. You could save up to 20% on your cooling bills if you choose an energy efficient unit to start, not taking into consideration how much you will save by having a modern system that needs fewer repairs. If you are finding that you need frequent repair, and the air conditioning repair costs are already high, and rising, then you need no other hint that it is time to replace the unit. Look for the seasonal energy efficiency ratio, or SEER, and look for a high number when you look into new units. A rating of 10 or below means your unit is not efficient, while a rating of 26 is the most efficient.
You may be annoyed that air conditioning is partly responsible for why we have to go to work during the summer, but consider that air conditioning is also the reason that many modern vaccines and medicines have been developed. The temperature control that air conditioning offers has saved many lives, and it might just make your life a little less uncomfortable during the summer months if you take good care of it, and use reliable professionals to keep it in good order.